Sunday, July 10, 2011

being Lady Wisdom

Proverbs 8~ 

I read the first few verses and I can relate to the person named "wisdom":  

Lifting up my voice,
taking a high stand,
where the paths of various worldviews meet,
crying out -(vs. 1-5)

"O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart!"

I feel like this every day.  Maybe just because I am a loud mouth, and I really desire righteousness in a world where it is terribly lacking.

But I wonder, am I truly wise?  
Certainly, attempting to immerse myself often in the Word of God can only help the cause of speaking with wisdom, but verse 8 says: "All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them."  I can't say that without choking it out, because it isn't totally true of me.  All my words are not righteous…maybe self-righteous - which is not only unwise but prideful.  "Nothing crooked or perverse…"  I wish that were true of my conversation.  But, just ask my husband --- plenty of crooked and perverse things escape my mouth all the time.  And if it comes out of the mouth then it must, therefore, be in the heart.  
"Out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speak." (Mt. 12:34)
If I speak negatively or crookedly, then the same is in my heart.  I want all of my words to be righteous; but to also remain humble.  And there, I believe, the struggle for balance will be lifelong.  "Take heed where you stand lest you fall." (1 Cor. 10:12)  Just when I think I'm doing ok not being judgmental or critical, I let my guard down thinking that I finally get it, only to have it rear it's ugly head again when I'm not looking.  Then, there I am being ugly and I don't see it for weeks, or even months.  Bleh!!!  I hate me sometimes….and usually right after the time I've been loving me so much.  Ha!  Pride goes before a fall. (Pr. 16:18)

And so my prayer is that I might strive and ultimately become this woman of Proverbs 8 who embodies wisdom…that wisdom would take me over and there would no longer be a shred of Kori, but only the wisdom of a great and glorious God channeled through a unique personality: mine.

To balance information/knowledge and the passion therein with a genuine and desperate love for all mankind.  Sometimes I see it in me, but my passion and lack of self-control therein, possibly hurt more than help.  I don't know for sure.  But I'd like to err on the perspective side of my not cutting-the-mustard rather than being-all-that-and-a-bag-o'-chips.

I really could use a little more help in showing that I "rejoice in His inhabited world, and my delight is with the sons of men."  (v. 31)  Truly, though, I wouldn't bother "shouting from the rooftops" if I didn't want the eternal salvation for all the sons of men.  And you must know that there is no greater thing that can be desired for all mankind.

v. 12  "I, wisdom, …find out knowledge and discretion."
Discretion: the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information; carefulness; caution; tact; guardedness; diplomacy; sensitivity

Well, let's face it, "offense" may be unavoidable as it relates to the message of the cross. (1 Ptr. 2:7-8) A non-Christian will be offended by Christ no matter how I say it, but I do want to be careful to be sensitive, and not cold and unfeeling - as I so often can be: wanting to just say it and sometimes not being so careful as to how I'm saying it.  It's no good.
But, what I really love about this particular section of the passage is that wisdom finds knowledge and discretion.  She seeks it out, searches for it, doesn't give up until it is in her possession.  So should we be in our pursuit of knowledge and discretion.  Not just succeeding but thriving in truly speaking the truth in love. (Eph. 4:15)

Above all - I deeply desire to speak excellent things, right things, truth (vs. 6-7).

"Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things; for my mouth will speak truth…" 
"Part of the process is recognizing and confessing judgmental, impure, or critical thoughts before they can make their way to our mouths and actions." (Beth Moore)

In writing this and also in my recent private devotion times, this idea of being pharisaical is recurring which can only lead me to believe that I am in reality being critical and self-righteous.

"O Lord, I want to be wise about what is good, yet innocent about what is evil (Rom. 16:19).  I want to wash myself clean from every impurity of the flesh and spirit... Yet my life has proven again and again that desire is not enough.  Help me, Lord, for I need You desperately." (Beth Moore)

What can we practically do to be people that embody wisdom?

  • Take captive every thought, intent, and motive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)
  • Refuse to speak of things or participate in conversation not pleasing to the Lord.
  • Fill my mind with Scripture (memorizing it) and edifying truth.
  • Meditate/dwell on those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Php. 4:8)
O God! Yes, I need You desperately!! Make every thought, emotion, and breath to be immersed in wisdom.  I'm a complete failure! But God! (How I love those words: "Lord, everything is a disaster, but You..." For with God nothing is impossible.)  He can work this miracle in me.  Please do it, Lord! And help me to actively pursue it.  Take criticism, legalism, and any pharisaical attitude from me.  I sense it in me now and am so thankful to Your Holy Spirit for bringing it to my attention.  You are so good, God.  Thank You.  Change me!

Change my heart, O God.
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God.
May I be like You.

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